Review: Cyborg R.A.T. 7 (PC)

The Cyborg R.A.T. 7 is really a rat amongst mice. There is no better way to describe it.

I was a little shocked upon seeing it at first – I’m used to seeing gaming mice that are sleek, smooth weapons of mass destruction. The Cyborg R.A.T. 7 with its plated palm rest and blocky Transformer-like form was a Decepticon amongst the Autobots of the RobotsGoneBad gaming mouse arsenal.

Then I held it in my hand and gave in to the dark side.

The R.A.T. 7 is a beautifully made precision machine. It means serious business with its metal chassis, colour scheme, and fully adjustable parts. Nearly every inch that matters in the R.A.T. 7 is customisable. With the help of the allen key sitting innocuously at the bottom of the palm rest, parts can be swapped out for you to mold the mouse to your grip. You don’t have to be an engineer to customise the R.A.T. 7, either – the accompanying instruction booklet explains everything clearly, and the distillation of this LEGO-business down to just one allen key helps tremendously.

The R.A.T. 7 ships with three different parts each for the pinkie grip and palm rest, but those parts aren’t just for swapping in and out. The palm rest can be positioned lower down to accommodate your grip; the thumb rest and pinkie grip can also be adjusted to the exact areas your fingers would rest naturally.

Five 6-gram weight plates are also stored in the same crevice as the allen key, and these can be removed so that the R.A.T. 7 will weigh only as much as you’re comfortable with. Some folk might find that the aluminium chassis is heavy enough; me, I like my mice like I like my men – with a little meat on their bones 😉 and so I left in two plates.

I find that heavy mice help you to be more precise in your aiming, but the R.A.T. 7 is also equipped with a next-gen ‘twin eye’ laser sensor to help you with just that. Boasting 6400 DPI, it can track up to 6 meters per second, making it the smoothest and most responsive mouse I’ve ever put my hand on. Worth noting is the ‘Precision Aiming’ button. What it does is to help switch the mouse sensitivity to a pre-set (via the ST Programming software) setting at the press of that button. For instance in a situation where, say, you’re camping and aiming for a head-shot, Precision Aiming allows you to slow your mouse movement to a level that works for you – and thus acquiring a precise hit more easily (and hence the name).

On top of that, the R.A.T. 7 also comes with six programmable buttons on top of its two regular left and right mouse buttons. This is the standard for gaming mice nowadays, but the R.A.T. 7 one-ups its competitors with the inclusion of its unique thumb scroll. While that’s not anything new, the way the thumb scroll is presented in the R.A.T. 7 definitely helps reinvent it, and makes it more accessible as a bindable button as opposed to merely being one for scrolling.

While some mice come with complicated drivers, the R.A.T. 7’s is simple and fuss free. Though there are four separate tabs in its accompanying software, you only need to care about Settings and Programming.rat_5

The Settings tab for the R.A.T. 7 allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the mouse’s X and Y axis, and also houses the Precision Aiming slider. The Programming button is for key-binds – a fuss free experience compared to some we’ve seen. Macros can be hard-bound to the Cyborg R.A.T. 7’s keys, as opposed to needing a software profile.

The only downside to having the R.A.T. 7 would be if you have sweaty palms. Its plastic surfaces are slippery to begin with, and it’s easy to lose your grip on the mouse if you suffer from hyperhidrosis. On the plus side, the mouse’s material and build makes it impossible for grime to collect in crevices, the way they do with other gaming mice (you know which brand we’re referring to!).

The R.A.T. 7 is a monster and a dream of a gaming mouse. People splurge on gaming mice for that exact ergonomic fit, and the R.A.T. 7 offers customisation previously unimaginable  Being able to tinker with your mouse like you would a Bionicle kit is what makes the R.A.T. 7 worth every cent that you pay for it. It is priced on the high side, for sure, but the customisations available, as well as the level of precision and care that has gone into its engineering, justifies its suggested retail price of S$159.

The Good
  • Fully customisable hardware, right down to weight of mouse.
  • Parts can be switched out to ones of your favoured material.
  • Macros are bound to hardware, not software.
The Bad
  • Surfaces not kind to players with sweaty hands.